Sunday, April 27, 2008

Day 598 -- UCDavis

Where shall I begin describing the last three days? How about at the beginning.

I did run Friday morning, a brisk 6 miles. That carries me through Davis, and before I leave, I thought I should visit the math department at UCDavis. This is the "Ceremonial Knotting" of the new Mathematical Sciences Building. No, I don't know what that means.

I stayed for my 11:00 class on Friday, meaning that I didn't leave until noon, and I was late to the spring meeting (which starts at 1:00) for the first time in eight years. For all the students I had in my 11:00 class, I could have skipped it, too.

We arrived at the meeting at about 2:00, and I went to a couple of OK talks, one pretty good talk, and one fantastic performance. The fantastic performance was this guy:

I originally uploaded this photo 302 running days ago, on Day 296, when I visited Kansas State. I took this photo from their web site. At the time, I identified this guy as Sir Randolf Bacon III, from Williams College. That's not strictly accurate. Sir Randy's real name is Colin Adams, and it turns out that he's a terrific speaker.

I helped with the judging for our third annual math game show in the evening. (My university went down to bitter defeat, after winning the first year and placing second last year.) After that, we had a banquet, where I was roped into sitting at the head table, with people who I didn't really want to talk to, instead of out in the crowd, with my friends. After the banquet, we had another great performance, by Arthur Benjamin of Harvey Mudd College. I have seen Art Benjamin perform before, but he's well worth a second try.

The talk ended at 9:00, and by the time I found my hotel and checked in, it was way past my bedtime. I didn't really manage to sleep in, so I was tired and cranky, well, all yesterday and today.

I did give a talk on Saturday morning, and it went really well. The final talk of the morning was Art Benjamin again, this time with a more research oriented talk, which was still fantastic. When I grow up, I want to be Art Benjamin.

After an Executive Board meeting, I made it home in the late afternoon, just in time for a Passover seder. Our friends who hosted it aren't really Jewish. Her father was apparently a non-observant Jew, and he is a non-observant Catholic, but they like to expose their son, Hurricane Andrew, to all kinds of different things. It was my first ever Passover seder, and I enjoyed it a lot.

I didn't sleep well again last night, so I didn't run at all this morning. I'm missing a long run this weekend, but that's OK. At this point, I'm ready to begin my taper for the half marathon.

Today was dedicated to grading and housework, in roughly equal proportions. Well, a little heavier on the grading. And now it's about my bedtime, and I'm hoping to get a good night's sleep tonight.